Caribbean joins preparation for adoption of new Sustainable Development Goals

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders will on Friday join world leaders and heads of global financial institutions for the launch of a landmark new framework for sustainable development.

The policy, which will be launched at the United Nations, aims to end poverty and build a life of dignity for every person.

The UN said that top development officials are “keenly focused and enthusiastically preparing” for the moment on Friday when the organization’s 193 member-states formally adopt the new framework, titled, “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

The framework comprised 17 goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate over the next 15 years.

Among CARICOM leaders slated to address the High-Level General Assembly Plenary on Friday are the Prime Ministers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie; Antigua and Barbuda’s Gaston Browne; and Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. Guyana’s President David Arthur Granger will also address the session.

According to the UN Schedule of Speakers, representatives from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are also expected to address the High-Level Plenary,

According to the UN, officials have forecast 2015 as “a watershed year” for having reached an agreement that will “change the paradigm about development,” while “leaving no one behind”, and giving a boost for a global climate change accord later this year.

The three-day UN Sustainable Development Summit will also be addressed by Pope Francis, who is on a first visit to the United Nations.

The Summit will then open with a screening of the film “The Earth From Space”.

“People have the right to have expectations because there is a need to make sure that the former goals, the MDGs [Millennium Development Goals] are truly achieved”, said UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.

The MDGs grew out of the 1992 UN Conference on Environmental and Development, better known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the concept of sustainable development began to gain momentum.

With 2015 set as the target year for the MDGs, the UN said the new sustainable development agenda emerged from three years of negotiations to address the three interconnected elements of economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the agenda as “a clarion call” to “share prosperity, empower people’s livelihoods, ensure peace and heal our planet for the benefit of this and future generations”.

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